By Edith Cody-Rice
Puppets Up! is back this summer but in the form of an educational opportunity for budding puppeteers. PuppetCon (Con for conversation), a weekend festival including workshops and panels from August 11-13 will also feature two puppet shows, both presented at the Ron Caron Auditorium in Almonte’s Old Town Hall.
The Family Crow: A Murder Mystery
This adult show will be performed on Friday, August 11, 2023 at 7:30 pm. It is an hour-long theatrical comedy, puppet murder mystery created by internationally celebrated puppeteer Adam Francis Proulx,and directed by Byron Laviolette of Morro and Jasp fame. A mysterious murder has occurred amidst the Family Crow and now Horatio P. Corvus. (Sorter Outer of Murders) is on the scene to crack the case. This show has won multiple awards at Fringe Festivals throughout North America.
When contacted by Millstone News, Adam told us:
I’m so honoured to have been invited to the first PuppetCon by Noreen Young, whose work I grew up watching on TV. I’m really looking forward to coming to the Town of Almonte. It will be my first time and I have heard nothing but good things. My friend and mentor Ronnie Burkett said that the Almonte Old Town Hall theatre is just wonderful.
Adam is also holding a workshop How to Market Your Puppet Show 9:30 am-noon on Sunday August 13 upstairs in the Legion.He aims to help puppeteers and theatre creators discover and communicate their brand and find the people who want to come and be their audience and watch. Together with you, Adam will explore the different available media that will allow you to get the word out about your production! This workshop is suitable for those 16 and up.
Everybody Loves Puppets
This family show will be performed on Saturday August 12 at 4:30 pm by Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers who have been popular and loyal performers at Puppets Up! since it started in 2004. Everybody Loves Pirates is a much-loved puppet show that features 15 hand-crafted puppets and an 8 foot papier mâché pirate ship!
Eight-year-old Lucy and her goofy pal Little Chucky are searching for buried treasure, but a gang of bumbling pirates keeps getting in the way! The kids get some help from their new ocean-dwelling friends, including enthusiastic superhero Lobster Boy, his reluctant sidekick Crabby, and an overgrown sea monkey.
This show is recommended for ages 4 and up.
Puppeteer Erik Torbeck told Millstone News:
“We love Almonte! Arriving to Puppets Up! is like driving into Oz or some other magical place. The town is so idyllic, and the community so warm and welcoming. As much as we enjoy attending the festival over the years, we also enjoy getting to know so many of the town’s residents. When we pull into town, it feels like coming home to family. We are excited for PuppetCon, and looking forward to seeing everyone this August, and getting something delicious at Baker Bob’s!”
The Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers are also holding a 90 minute workshop on making a sock puppet at 10 am on Sunday August 13 in the back room of the Superior Restaurant. Participants will learn to make a simple sock puppet to take home and get a chance to mingle with these very popular performers.
Tickets for both performances and these and other workshops and panels can be purchased at ONSTAGEDIRECT.